“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is sure delightfl, when school is the place to go…..Please don’t snow, Please don’t snow, Please don’t snow!!!” Unfortunately due to the antics of Mother Nature, like most all districts in North East Kansas we have had to use a snow day already and it is not even officially winter yet. As we are aware this is an extremely busy time of year around the school with Winter sports kicking off along with the Holiday Winter concerts.
Missing school due to weather not only causes adjustments to be made for activities but also for education in the classroom as lesson plans need to be changed and at the secondary level it cuts a day off of preparing for finals. With only 160 student contact days it is important that we as educators get the most out of each and every day. As much as missing school due to weather impacts education, poor attendance and/or truancy causes even a bigger impact on the learning of individual students.
USD 330 Mission Valley attendance rate for both 2017 and 2018 was 95% with the Kansas average being 94%. In Kansas, state law provides that a student is truant if they are absent without excuse, for a significant portion of the school day, for three consecutive days, or five days in a semester, or seven days in a school year. While success in school is dependent upon many factors, being present each and every day is critical, particularly for low‐income students and students who face a variety of educational barriers.
According to an article from the Center for American Progress, time away from the classroom hurts a student’s chance to succeed. In fact, truancy is a distinct predictor of low student achievement and high school dropout rates. As a result, students who miss school may face lifelong economic consequences. In addition, truancy can be a gateway to the school‐to‐prison pipeline. Furthermore, truancy has repercussions far beyond the individual and can affect the overall success of schools.
We understand that there are times when students must be absent for illnesses, doctor appointments, family emergencies, etc…, however, chronic absenteeism from school does not allow children to develop the necessary foundational skills that they will need as they move into post‐secondary education and careers. A student who misses 10 days of school per year will lose out on approximately 1 year of education.
USD 330 Mission Valley values the success of all students, however, to get them to their highest potential we must make sure that we are utilizing all the time that we have them and by being at school on a consistent basis allows for that to happen.
Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.
Yours in Education,
Bill Clark, Superintendent